Poem – Behold!

Ah, it’s a weekend again. What bliss… Weekends are like gold to me, now that school has started back up. 😀 (Except when I don’t finish all my work and then have to work on weekends. But I’m working on that. :D) What have you all been up to this week? My week has been chock full of school work (no surprise, that. :P) and not much else. Such is the life of a high school junior…

Today’s writing piece is another poem that I wrote just the other day. I’ve been reading through the Old Testament recently and really loving it! After reading Amos, I was struck with inspiration and this poem was born. The Old Testament really is filled with such beautiful and poetic writing, it’s not hard to be inspired! I’d really recommend going and reading some of it, if you haven’t recently. Yes, it’s a bit dense in parts, but oh the promises that God makes to his people are so wonderfully encouraging! I love it… So without further ado, onto the poem!

Behold!

He who treads

on the heights of the earth,

also walked among man

through the depths of the valleys.

He who stretches out the heavens

like a garment,

also stretched out his arms

on a cross.

He who touches the earth

melting it,

also touches my heart

turning it into flesh.

He who turns deep darkness

Into morning,

also turns deep mourning

Into joy.

He who causes nations

to rise and fall according to his plan,

also causes me to rise

and soar on eagles’ wings.

He who breathed

the earth into existence,

also breathes life

Into my weary soul.

 

Who is he?

Behold,

the LORD God Almighty

is his name.

amos 2

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Top 2 Books – September 2017

Hi everyone! Today I’m back with a slightly-shorter-than-normal review of my favourite books of the month. I read quite a few books in September, but alas my time is running out today, so 2 is all I have time for right now. 😀

 

Yancey-Bible-Jesus-Read

 

This was (again) a book I read as part of my school work this year, and (again :D) I was very pleasantly surprised by it! Yancy takes the reader on a journey as he delves into the Old Testament – shedding light on the Bible that Jesus would’ve read. The Old Testament is the prequel to the story of Jesus, but so often Christians are put off by the sheer size of it, the dense prophecies, or the depressing stories. But Yancy takes the Old Testament and shines a light on the beauty hidden behind those initial barriers. Writing a chapter each on Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Deuteronomy, and the Prophets, he gives clarity to the story that each book holds.

The thing that I found so captivating about this book is the way that he points out how each book is part of a greater narrative, and how each story is woven into The Story. The Story of the world, and how Jesus has come to save it. This book wasn’t exactly light reading, as it had a lot of historical/theological information in it to process. But Yancy writes in a very clear, compelling and captivating way, and I didn’t find this book hard to get through at all. If you struggle with the Old Testament at all, or are just wanting to learn more about the backgrounds and meanings behind the OT books, then this book is for you! I’m giving this book a solid 9* out of 10, and recommending it for ages 14+.

 

beowulf

Three massive battles with monsters and dragons featuring feats of intense bravery and fortitude – it doesn’t get much better than that. 😀 Throw in that this book was written over 1000 years ago, but is still readable and interesting to a modern reader, and bam, you’ve got a rather interesting book on your hands. Now lest you think that I am an incredible nerd for picking up a 1000+ year old book and actually liking it, let me shed some light onto the situation. You see, I’m only a slight nerd, because I choose to take classes like ‘Middle Ages Literature’ and then actually enjoy the books that I read in that class. 😀 So yes, this is, yet again, another school book. But I enjoyed it so much I figured I’d spotlight it on here. After all, it’s not every month I read an ancient, poetical story full of monsters and daring deeds. 😛

Anyways, where was I…? Oh yes, talking about Beowulf. So yeah, it’s basically what I’ve already said – a really long poem about a guy that fights a monster, then the monster’s mother, and then a dragon. Which in itself doesn’t exactly sound thrilling. But it is! The writing is incredibly beautiful. Seriously, I wish that I could write some of the things that the author of Beowulf comes out with. The history behind it is fascinating. I’ve been learning about it in my class, and finding out so much history behind the story! Learning the history behind all the rituals detailed in the poem, the Scandinavian culture within which it was composed, and how it survived seemingly a million and two fires and finally got translated into English – it’s all so fascinating! Of course, I am a history nerd, so that might bias me a little bit. 😀

And yes, because it was written such a long time ago, the language is hard to follow. The story itself is interesting, but the rabbit trails and side-notes that the author takes are often confusing and slightly tedious. But apart from that, it’s a masterpiece! I’d really recommend going out of your comfort zone, and if not reading this book, then reading something else that you normally wouldn’t read. Because, as I found out when I read Beowulf, sometimes it’s good to stretch yourself out of your normal habits, because you can learn and grow and find gems of literature along the way! I’ve giving Beowulf 8* out of 10, and recommending it to anyone that is brave enough to take the challenge. (but probably 13+ :D)

That’s all for this week! Please feel free to share some of your favourite books you read in the past month. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

A Place to Belong

* Apologies for this late post! I was gone all weekend, and only remembered after I’d left that I had forgotten to put a post up. 

This week I’m going to be sharing a sort of casual essay.  I wrote it as a school assignment, but it quickly turned into something much more personal than a simple essay. I hope your hearts are encouraged by this!

~

In this culture of vast variety, it is sometimes hard to find your niche. A place to fit in, a place to belong. You look around at everyone, seemingly so different from you, and wonder ‘Is it really possible to find a place to truly belong?’ I have struggled with those same feelings, and so I invite you to join me, as I explore just a little bit about finding ‘a place to belong’.

As a conservative Christian girl, my values are almost always the opposite of the world’s values. As I look around, I see sinful people who are bound and determined to do what they want, when they want and how they want. People who dismiss God and his Word the Bible, on the grounds that it is old-fashioned/irrelevant/not for them/flawed/etc. People who don’t care about others; they only care about themselves. People that have twisted love into a gross, lustful, self-gratifying thing that consumes their lives. People that only care about the next movie coming out, the new Instagram filter, their iPhone, their computer, or the new fashions on the runway. People who can’t fathom living without luxury, Wi-Fi, all their stuff. People who need entertainment 24/7, whether it comes from their phone or their computer, or their computer games or movies. People who have an insatiable drive to get to the top of the pyramid, whether it’s career or social or something else. They long to have the best car, house, family, wife, friends, or stuff. I see families being broken apart because of selfishness, lust, anger, greed, or just plain sinfulness. And as I look around at all this brokenness, at everyone who holds such different values and morals than me, I wonder ‘where do I belong?’

Because as I look at the world, I’m struck with the massive difference between their values and mine. I look at myself, and I see sinfulness. But I also see values and morals at a complete opposite end to the majority of the world. I hold God and his word the Bible in high respect. I believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that I am a sinner saved by grace. I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word to us, and should not be taken lightly, twisted, or dismissed. My whole life is completely changed because I am a Christian. I have conservative views on love, believing that marriage is something between one man and one woman, and that sex should be saved for after marriage. I believe that dating should have boundaries and goals, and that it is something that should not be taken lightly. I also believe that woman should dress modestly, so as to not make it hard for men to keep themselves pure. I have a high view of life, believing that children are a blessing from God, and that a baby is a person from the moment it is conceived. No child should be killed because it is unwanted or the wrong gender. I also take a high view of family, trying to honour God with the way I treat my parents and siblings, though I fail often. As for schooling, I am home-schooled which automatically makes me different and weird from the rest of my peers. Some of my peers look down on me because I am ‘sheltered’ and ‘enjoy learning,’ two things that are very different from their lifestyles. Even little things, that my internet is monitored and restricted sets me apart from the rest of the world that craves 24/7 entertainment. Pretty much everything in my life from school to personal values is completely different from the world.

And honestly, it’s hard. It’s hard not being able to fit in with the crowd, not to understand the inside jokes, not to be ‘one of them’. Though I know deep down in my heart that I am doing the right thing, sometimes you just want to belong somewhere.

And you know what? That longing is something that has been gnawing at the human heart for all of time. The longing to have that hole filled, that heart-longing satisfied, the desire to find a place that you can truly say you belong. But since sin entered the world, people have become lost. They don’t know where they belong or how to have that hole filled and that desire satisfied. They search and search, but never truly find.

Some go the way of love, trying to fill the hole in their heart with relationships and promises of love and all they find is that people are fickle and at the end of it, the holes in their hearts are deeper than ever before.

Some go the way of entertainment, trying desperately to satisfy that heart desire with movies and books and friends and phones and unlimited wifi. But there is always some unattainable ‘something’ that they can never quite get, and so that heart-desire is never quite satisfied.

And some try and find a place to belong in their work, striving to fit in, to achieve the goals, earn the money, and climb the pyramid. But then either something snaps and their carefully crafted lives come crashing around their ears and they’re left with nothing, or they come to the end of their carefully crafted lives and realize that everything they’ve built… means nothing.

At the end, their hearts still have un-filled holes, their deep desires for something more are unfulfilled, and that cry for some place to belong goes unanswered.

But that is where I am different. Because of one thing.

My heart has been filled with unspeakable love. My desire for something more has been fulfilled, and my heart-cry for a place to belong will ultimately come true.

Because of Jesus.

His life-changing, glorious, all-consuming, sacrificial and amazing love has come into my sin-filled, holey, desiring heart and turned it upside down and around and torn it apart and recreated it and… filled it. In him, all heart desires are satisfied, all the holes are filled, and he has promised that one day, people changed by him will no longer live in this sinful, messy, broken world where no one can truly belong, but will be with him in the most glorious place we could ever imagine. Heaven. And there we will no longer wish to be a part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. Because there  We. Will. Belong. There we will see Jesus face to face, and all our heart’s desires will be immediately and completely and utterly satisfied. There. With Him.

So, as I look around at this broken world that I live in, and wish that just once, I could be part of the crowd, to have a place to belong. I stop. And remember. That though this world has troubles, take heart, because Jesus has overcome this world. And he has overcome my sin on the cross in the most magnificently sacrificial love we could ever imagine, and he has filled my heart with his love. And because of this glorious truth, I no longer need to wish for a place to belong. Because I have the hope that I know, one day, I will have one. In Heaven. With Jesus. My ‘Place to Belong’.

 

c s lewis

Poem – Faithful Stars

Well hello! Can you believe it’s already Saturday again? It seems that each weekend seems to come faster and faster as time goes on. Or maybe just time is going faster and faster as I get older? 😀 I don’t know, but time sure seems to be spinning by at a crazy speed for me… This week has been very busy for me, as I’ve been redecorating my bedroom. We’ve repainted the whole room, plus painted some furniture, and gone on several shopping trips, and we still have to put up pictures and nail shelves into the walls. Needless to say, it’s been slightly crazy around here this week!

So due to the lack of time to prepare anything else for this week’s blog post, I’m falling back onto another poem. I’m hoping to start writing and posting more of a variety of things on here, but I need to get the time to write them first! Hopefully I’ll manage to somehow capture that time soon.. 😀 Anyways, here’s the poem – let me know what you think of it!

stars

 

When God created the heavens,

he stretched the vast expanse of night sky

over the dome of earth

and poked holes

in the dark

black vastness.

Then he sprinkled

liberal handfuls

of glistening stars

all over the canopy of black

light and dark

mixed together

like salt and pepper,

like diamonds against black velvet.

And they nestled

and settled

and shone out of the darkness

through the holes

over the dark

and silent world.

Now,

thousands of years later,

the same stars

still shine

like fiery diamonds

or gleaming raindrops.

Ever present

like our ever present God

reflecting his design,

his power,

his beauty.

As I gaze up

At the great

black

bowl of sky,

with the myriads of stars

clustered and sprinkled

everywhere

I’m reminded of:

How small I am.

How great God is.

And how faithful

he is

in his love

for us.

For as the stars continue on

night after night,

year after year,

century after century,

never changing

in their constancy,

intensity

and beauty

So God’s faithfulness will continue on

night after night,

year after year

century after century

never changing

in its constancy

intensity

and beauty.

For,

his love endures forever,

his faithfulness throughout all generations.

 

stars 2

 

Poem – What if?

Have you ever had something just write itself, and then you look back later and aren’t exactly sure how that came out of your brain? I’ve had a couple poems like that, and I’m going to be sharing one of them today. Re-reading it, I can’t remember under what circumstances I wrote it, and I’m not even sure if I fully agree with the message of it. But, it came out of my head, so I must have had some ideas about the subject before I wrote it! 😀 So let me know what you think – do you agree/disagree with it? Why?

question mark.jpg

WHAT IF?

‘What if?’

Is the great questioning shadow

Over humanity.

 

‘What if?’

Is the eternal question

That will never be answered.

 

‘What if?’

Tells the story

Of question marks.

 

‘What if

I had tried?’

‘What if

I had risked it?’

‘What if

I had taken the leap of faith?’

 

The nagging question

The haunting question

The question that lingers

In the dim corners of

Humanity’s brain

The question of

‘What if?’

 

The reminiscent question

The haunting question

That weakens the foundation

Of all our decisions

The question of

‘What if’?

 

Humanity seems unable

To always fully look forward

They always look behind

And the

‘What ifs’

Trail like shadows

In their wake

 

Doubts

Fears

Tremulous questions in the dimness of the night

Uncertainties

Suspicions

Nagging whispers piercing bubbles of happiness

 

‘What if?’

 

I wish I could remind people

In the moment of decision

That it is better

To say ‘oops’

Than ‘what if?’

It is better

To live with a lifetime of experience

Than a with lifetime of regret

A lifetime of asking ‘what if’?

 

Because

When you try

At least you know what happens

When you don’t try

You will never know

 

And you are left with

‘What if’

Ringing in your ears.

 

*Note: This is my 20th post on ‘The Way of Delight’, and this blog has been around for nearly 4 months now! Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey!